Vodafone Lifeline project report

Review of programme to give smartphones and SIMs to domestic abuse services

A pilot of the Lifeline project was delivered in the South East of England in 2017. The programme was a partnership between Vodafone and SafeLives and offered smartphones and SIMs to domestic abuse providers for their beneficiaries. It provided support to victims of domestic abuse by increasing their ability to contact support services and their family and friends.

Following the success of the pilot, Lifeline 2.0 was created to trial a national pilot. This was based around health services, delivered by hospital-based Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (Idvas) and GP-based Advocate Educators (AEs) from December 2018 to May 2019.

The impact of the pilot has been significant. It has been particularly helpful for the most vulnerable victims, such as those experiencing homelessness, isolation and mental health difficulties. The findings were very positive, indicating that the smartphone and pre-loaded credit were especially important in helping to improve safety and connect victims with family and friends. Pre-ordering were greatly beneficial to practitioners, enabling them to offer immediate access to safe devices to their service users.

Most importantly, victims of domestic abuse were universally approving of the pilot, irrespective of their circumstances. Lifeline helped those who were not ready to leave by helping to capture evidence and maintain contact with family and friends. Lifeline also helped those who were at high risk of harm by providing them with a safe handset to call emergency and specialist services. The pilot also supported those leaving abusive relationships by helping them to manage their life, including finding housing or applying for benefits.


I really appreciate the phone being given to me. You helped me and I can’t thank you enough. If it wasn’t for the phone I wouldn’t be able to call my daughter, speak to my Idva, call the council, housing or the job centre.


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